All Posts By

Roberta Emerson


By | LVPAC News | No Comments

Clockwise from upper left: David Victor formerly of Boston, Marc Cohn, Derik Nelson & Family, Keiko Matsui, New Christy Minstrels (center), The Family Stone, Lunafish, John Waite.

We just announced new additions to the Bankhead Theater schedule for 2019! Two shows and one free concert have been added to the current season and six shows have been announced for the Summer Series at the Bankhead. You’ll find old favorites and some new name making their first appearance in Livermore. Check out the list, then buy your tickets now before they sell out! Right now tickets are on sale to MEMBERS only. Become a member today to get the best seats. Tickets go on sale to the public January 23.

Since his Grammy Award-winning hit ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn has earned a reputation as a natural storyteller with the precision of a brilliant tunesmith and the passion of a great soul man. His intimate concerts feature deep cuts and surprises, as well as songs that have been fan favorites for decades. John Waite became one of the most recognizable voices in the 1980s when his hits “Missing You” and “Midnight Rendezvous” soared to the top of the pop charts. His solo career was preceded by success as lead singer of The Babys and the rock supergroup Bad English. He brings his acoustic sound and familiar vocals back to the Bankhead’s intimate stage on the Wooden Heart: Acoustic Anthology Tour in late May.

Kicking off the summer will be two groups who delight audiences with their appealing folk-pop music. One of just 15 groups named US Cultural Ambassadors in 2018, Derik Nelson and Family deliver passionate interpretations of both original and cover songs. Derik, Riana and Dalten’s perfectly-blended sibling harmonies and jazz and folk-infused sound are enhanced by stunning visual digital displays. For the third summer, the siblings will lead a songwriting workshop for teens. The week-long session culminates in an afternoon presentation for friends and family before Derik Nelson and Family take the stage for their own performance. On July 26th, The New Christy Minstrels make a sixth appearance at the Bankhead with their always-fresh folk sound. Since the 1960s, their lighthearted style and rich harmonies have endeared them to listeners with such original, chart-topping hits such as “Green, Green” and “Today.”

Formerly of the multi-platinum band Boston, David Victor, together with four other lead vocalists, will deliver the music of iconic classic rock groups, Boston and Styx, whose legendary hits included “More Than a Feeling,” “Peace of Mind,” “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” and “Amanda.” With a blazing hot rock sound and four- and five-part harmonies, the group will bring a feel-good, 100 percent live performance to the Bankhead stage. Renowned Japanese-born pianist and composer Keiko Matsui has earned a devout and enthusiastic international audience, including numerous local fans in Livermore. Her music transcends boundaries worldwide, blending a rich melting pot of musical influences to create unforgettable, contemporary smooth jazz melodies.

Join us to celebrate the anniversary of the landmark rock show. The Family Stone, who with then-leader Sly Stone performed at Woodstock in 1969, will appear here on August 10. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Jerry Martini and Greg Errico, will appear with Phunne Stone, Swang Stewart, Blaise Sison, Nate Wingfield, and Jimmy Mckinney. The band will deliver an infectious high-energy combination of funk and soul on such legendary hits as “Everyday People,” “Dance To The Music,” “Family Affair” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime!” A local favorite, Livermore-based band LunaFish joins in with a “Woodstock Revisited” show on August 17, reviving the magic of the historic event with their authentic psychedelic rock sound.

On April 18, members of the California State Military Reserve Band under the leadership of music director James Lamb will present “Ragtime to Jazz: The Music of James Reese Europe.” Combining narrative, images, video, and live music, they will chart the story of the famed African-American musician and soldier. Jim Europe broke barriers from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the battlefields of World War I. The event is free, but tickets are required and will be available beginning on March 18.

The new shows augment the current season which include such upcoming events as the nearly sold out concerts with Branford Marsalis Quartet, Jake Shimabukuro, Robert Cray, and Keb’ Mo’. More than 20 other shows remain in the season, including rock, pop, bluegrass and folk music, as well as dance, theater, cirque, and comedy. See the whole list HERE.

Only members can buy tickets until January 23. Don’t miss out on your favorite seats! Become a member today or contact Brittany Mulgrew at (925) 583-2305. Advance notice and early ticket purchase is a LVPAC membership benefit. Other benefits include a 10 percent discount on tickets all season and an invitation to the Season Announcement Party in May. Additional benefits such as private receptions and exclusive artist meet and greets are available at upper membership levels. Find out more about membership HERE.

At the Bankhead!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

A limited number of $20 seats are available for all shows*



Fri Jan 18 at 8pm Melissa Manchester

Mon Jan 21 at 7:30pm Branford Marsalis  ALMOST SOLD OUT!

Tue Jan 29 at 7:30pm  Jake Shimabukuro  ALMOST SOLD OUT!

Thu Jan 31 at 7:30pm Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Fri Feb 8 at 8pm  Russian National Ballet “Don Quixote”

Sun Feb 10 at 7:30pm  Robert Cray   ALMOST SOLD OUT!

Tue Feb 12 at 7:30pm  A Bowie Celebration

Thu Feb 14 at 7:30pm The Music of ABBA (Arrival from Sweden)

Fri Feb 15 at 8pm Second City “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Sun Feb 17 at 3pm  The Choir of Man

Fri Feb 22 at 8:00pm  Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Sun Feb 24 at 3pm  The Clairvoyants

Wed Feb 27 at 7:30pm  Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: Visions of Cape Breton and Beyond

Thu Feb 28 at 7:30pm  International Guitar Night 

Mon Mar 11 at 7:30pm  Marc Cohn  MEMBER PRESALE ONLY UNTIL 1/23

Fri Mar 15 at 8pm Masters of Soul

Mon Mar 18 at 7:30pm  Don Felder

Thu Mar 21 at 7:30pm  Cirque Eloize “Saloon”

Fri Mar 22 at 8pm  Bumper Jacksons

Thu Mar 28 at 7:30pm  Will Ackerman: The Gathering 4 Guitars

Mon Apr 8 at 7:30pm  Mayumana “Currents”

Fri Apr 12 at 8pm  Late Nite Catechism “Will My Bunny Go To Heaven?”

Sun Apr 14 at 3pm Lonesome Traveler: The Concert with Peter Yarrow

Fri May 3 at 8pm  The Drifters

Sun May 4 at 5pm  The Capitol Steps

Sun May 12 at 3pm  San Francisco String Trio: The Sgt. Pepper Project

Tue May 14 at 7:30pm  Keb’ Mo’  

Fri May 31 at 8:00pm  John Waite  MEMBER PRESALE ONLY UNTIL 1/23



Fri Jul 12 at 8:00pm  Derik Nelson & Family

Fri Jul 26 at 8:00pm  New Christy Minstrels

Fri Aug 2 at 8:00pm  David Victor formerly of Boston

Sat Aug 10 at 8:00pm  The Family Stone

Fri Aug 16 at 8:00pm  Keiko Matsui

Sat Aug 17 at 8:00pm  Lunafish “Woodstock Revisited!”

*Bankhead Presents shows only, excludes Gala, Resident Company and Rental shows

Read All About Us!

By | LVPAC News | No Comments


…offered 268 live music and performing arts events
…welcomed 57,485 patrons to the Bankhead Theater
…sold out a record breaking 27 shows
…underwrote 4,056 student tickets
…subsidized 140 performances by resident companies
…served 30,277 students with educational programs
and more!

Read our latest annual report, see how we’ve fared in the past 12 months and find out how we’re charting a course for our future!  In the book’s 20 pages, you’ll get a quick and graphical overview — from a look back at all the years since “Setting Sail” with the Bankhead in 2007, to our successes in the past 12 months when we’ve navigated “Smoother Waters,” and the challenges we see ahead as we are “Navigating New Adventures.”

Click HERE to read our Annual Report online now.

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit cultural arts organization.  Ticket sales provide only half of the funding needed to support the wide range of live performances, educational outreach programs, free cultural and community events we offer each year at the Bankhead Theater and Bothwell Arts Center.  Please consider helping to support the arts in our community by becoming a member, a donor or a volunteer today! For more information click HERE to read more or contact us via email at

A $200,000 Challenge Gift!

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

We’re pleased to announce the largest matching gift Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center has ever received! The $200,000 challenge gift exceeds by 30 percent a similar gift offered two years ago. Thanks to the generosity of major donors, Jean King and Lynn and Joan Seppala, any new gift or pledge made between November 1 and December 31, 2018 will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000. All proceeds will go to support Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center and provides funds for events at the Bankhead Theater and the Bothwell Arts Center, as well as educational outreach, student ticket subsidies, and free community cultural events. Scott Kenison, Executive Director, expressed appreciation for this significant opportunity to increase fundraising power. “Jean, Lynn and Joan have been longstanding and very generous supporters of the arts in Livermore. We hope their leadership will encourage the entire community to step forward and help us not just meet, but exceed the goal.”



The past year has seen positive momentum for the organization in a number of areas. The Producer’s Circle fund has more than doubled in the past 12 months. Established last year, the Producer’s Circle was established last year to sponsor guest artists and support projects that expand and stretch the organization’s artistic efforts or reach new audiences.  In addition, we reached a funding milestone in our Green the Bankhead project, allowing us to begin implementation. Incandescent stage lights have already been replaced with LED models which are more energy efficient, generate less heat, and can be programmed more easily. Other planned improvements include installing solar panels and low-flow water fixtures, replacing worn carpet with more environmentally-friendly materials, and modifying offices and other spaces to make better use of natural light.

As Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center had a very successful 2017-2018 season and carries no long-term debt, Scott also sees this as an ideal time for this matching gift campaign. “We are working hard to secure our future and meeting this challenge goal will help us get there. We want to continue to provide the community with a vibrant arts center offering exciting entertainment, cultural celebrations and the opportunity to be touched by art,” he said. The organization has broadened its efforts in the past year, growing the Livermore Innovation Fair, adding affordable events such as the Classic Film Musical series, and taking on new challenges such as producing last month’s stage-on-stage theatrical experience, “Red” by John Logan.


An independent 501(c)3 non-profit, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is a community-funded organization. It is not owned by the City of Livermore and relies on generous donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. As with nearly every arts center in the country, ticket sales cover only half of the total cost of presenting performances and events. “We know this community recognizes the importance of the arts. They have come forward generously in the past and we believe they will do so again,” Scott said. More are taking an active role; there are now more Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center members than there have ever been before and the organization is working to broaden its reach. A new 35MM level, estab­lished this year, gives mainstage membership to applicants under the age of 35 at a reduced rate.

Donations for the challenge can be made at any time online and gifts of securities also qualify for the one-to-one match. For more information about gifts of securities or other types of donations, including legacy gifts, the Producer’s Circle, and the Green the Bankhead project, contact Chris Carter Director of Development and Communications at 925-583-2311  or


The Story Behind the Song

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

Guitarist Suzanna Spring of the Mustangs of the West reflects on her life as a songwriter and the story behind their new single “T-Shirt from California.”  Come hear the Mustangs play the song THIS FRIDAY, October 26 at the Bankhead.  Read her story and then get tickets to hear it live!

The Story Behind “T-Shirt From California”

I wrote the song “T-Shirt From California” as a valentine to a place I missed when I was living in another state. I wasn’t born in California, but my parents were always California dreaming and we moved here the year I turned sixteen. I still remember the shock of the big sky, the far horizon, and the freedom. No one asked what church I went to, and it felt like everyone out here was just beginning something. I used to drive in the evenings up to a reservoir, because the road had twists and turns, and with the windows down I could really feel the way the air changes from desert-hot to cool. I became a Californian. I fell in love with the mountains and the desert. I went free-diving for abalone up the coast; hiked in Yosemite, in Joshua Tree, drove down Highway 1, to the teal-color ocean that is Big Sur.

I moved to southern California after college, and I auditioned for a band called The Mustangs, because my mom had taught my sister and me to sing and how to harmonize, and I wrote poems and songs and played guitar. I always had melodies in my head, because I’d kept a radio next to my bed since age six, soaking in the music. This band–The Mustangs–all of us women had similar stories in a way, and we had given up a lot to begin something new. We played gigs around southern California, frequently at The Palomino for Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance. We were new writers, and we wrote a lot of love, and love-gone-wrong songs. We had some ballads, too, and a cool version of a Stones song. I always pictured that when The Mustangs got a record deal, I’d drive up PCH and run out on the beach screaming.

The band dissolved when one person left the band, another moved, and I went to Nashville to write songs. Nashville was different than California. The checkers at the grocery stores would ask, “How can I hep you?” and one time I overheard two grocery baggers having a discussion about which was the best religion: Methodist or Baptist. Any night of the week in Nashville you could hear great music, great songs–and just like all the waiters in L.A. are actors, a lot of the waiters in Nashville had song ideas they sometimes wrote on napkins, and if you talked to a waiter long enough, they would tell you a song idea they had, and ask you what you thought.

I had mostly written songs alone, in moments of angst, but in Nashville your publisher would make writing appointments for you, with co-writers, and you’d have a regular schedule of appointments: 10am-2pm, 2pm-5pm, 5pm-8pm. Not all of those necessarily on the same day, but sometimes, yes. You needed to write 12 songs a year for the publishing deal, but everyone wrote more than that, to improve the odds of getting a song cut. Then you’d make rough recordings of your songs and play them for your publisher, and if your publisher liked them, you’d get a studio recording session. This was heaven, and one step closer to having your songs played for artists, managers, and record labels. I learned that a lot of the songwriters kept “hook books”–journals where they jotted down song titles and ideas. It was more efficient than a napkin and kept all the ideas in one place. You could take this book to your writing appointment and say, “I’ve got this title,” and if your co-writer didn’t grab onto it you could say,”Well I’ve got this other idea…”

I wrote for Bluewater Music, a publishing company known for signing artist/writers. Unlike some publishers who would put up a blackboard telling their writers they needed an uptempo positive song for a particular country artist, Bluewater mostly let us write what we wanted to write. Of course the songs didn’t always get cut, because they weren’t about wise grandparents or falling in love at age four and still being crazy about each other at fifty, but If a Bluewater song did hit, it usually hit big. They were known for good and quirky writers and although I didn’t like it that they didn’t pay much, I did like the freedom.

I was missing California one morning, and just sitting on the small sofa in my living room, strumming guitar, and the chorus to “T-Shirt From California” came into my head. I knew it was good because it stayed with me; I don’t think I even wrote it in the hook book. I took the chorus to a writing appointment with Wes Hightower, a writer and session singer, and we wrote a song about how it feels when someone leaves for California to start something new– and how it feels to be left. The things I loved about California–the ocean, driving up Highway 1 or down Sunset Boulevard, hiking in Topanga Canyon –all went into that song.

I always thought “T-Shirt” would get cut by an artist in Nashville, but now I realize it probably belongs to California. I sent it to Sherry Rayn Barnett, with some other songs, since we’d stayed friends after The Mustangs. And after I moved back to California, Sherry said she had an idea about The Mustangs, and had been talking to Holly Montgomery about us playing together again, and that we should record this song. Holly had played with a drummer named Suzanne Morissette Cruz and Sherry had met Aubrey Richmond, and Sherry had found a place to record. George Landress engineered. From the first run-through, it felt right. And all the things I love about California music, the guitar jangle and the Beach Boys harmonies, it’s all there. Sherry got the song to Kirk Pasich at Blue Élan, and he got it.

And so the song came back to California, and became something new, as did The Mustangs Of The West: Suzanne, Aubrey, Holly, Sherry and me. We got a record deal, and “T-Shirt From California” is our first single. So don’t stop California dreaming–It’s different out here.

–Suzanna Spring

Opening Act: Paul Jefferson

Friday, October 26 at 8pm


RED: Connecting to Art

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

Red“, John Logan’s Tony Award-winning play about abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko, opens tonight on the stage-on-stage at the Bankhead Theater. If you don’t have tickets, get them now … this is truly a play worth seeing.

Our team has watched as this powerful play has emerged – from the first read-through to last night’s dress rehearsal – in much the same way a Rothko painting emerged as he applied many layers of precisely-tinted color. “Red” is a remarkable five-scene window into the heart and soul of an artist at work – a gifted, passionate, tortured mind wrestling his art to life. Rothko verbally clashes with his assistant Ken, yet each takes away something from the other. Poised at an important moment in the history of art – as Abstract Expressionism was giving way to Pop Art – the play shines a light inside the mind of an artist driven by his artistic ideals.

The intimacy of the stage-on-stage setting at the Bankhead, makes the play even more compelling. The raw industrial feel of the walls and lighting evokes Rothko’s studio. Seated just feet from the action in the acoustically-beautiful space means the audience is part of every word, every breath, every emotion.

Viewing art in a museum, especially Rothko’s commanding canvases, can be a transformative experience. Watching an artist at work provides a view into artistic creation. But seeing into the soul of the creator yields an understanding of the value and meaning of art that goes beyond what the eye can see. “Red” provides that inner view of art in a way that will remain with you forever.




Directed by Misty Megia with Harvey T. Jordan as Mark Rothko and Michael P. McDonald* as Ken
*Member of the Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.


October 18 at 7:30pm
October 19 at 8:00pm
October 20 at 2:00pm
October 20 at 8:00pm
October 21 at 3:00pm



On personal connections…
I’m familiar with many of the artistic references in the play. I grew up around classical music and my mother often took us to art exhibits. Years later, I volunteered in a parent-led arts and music elementary school program. But some personal connections to “Red” made working on it even more enjoyable…

One of the first things Rothko asks Ken when they meet is “Who’s your favorite painter?”  It’s a flashback for me.  When I was 25, I had a “final” interview for a high-tech marketing job. It was with the vice president, several levels up, a final sign-off before an offer could be made. He was well-known for being critical and difficult, and I felt intimidated walking into his office. But the first thing he asked was “Who’s your favorite artist?” which led to a fascinating discussion about finding inspiration in different types of art. A couple years later, at dinner with him and his wife on my first business trip to Boston, they encouraged me to visit a museum in every city I traveled to. His understanding that art recharges the soul, refreshes one’s perspective, and sparks new ideas stayed with me and I have, indeed, looked for museums everywhere I’ve gone.




Getting Ready for Red

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

Almost ready!  Rehearsals are well underway for our new production of John Logan’s Tony Award winning play. It’s the first show fully produced by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, and first on the intimate Bankhead stage-on-stage.  Placing the actors and audience in such close proximity will offer a richer experience of this play’s compelling and dramatic power.  Directed by Misty Megia, “Red” stars Harvey T. Jordan as abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko and Michael P. McDonald as Rothko’s young assistant Ken. Watch the cast interview video and hear about Michael’s long journey to the role of Ken and the insights Harvey has gained on Rothko’s art and life as he returns to the role after six years.

Then get your tickets NOW — seating is very limited — you don’t want to miss this show!


Winner of the 2010 Tony Award, “Red” captures a pivotal period in Rothko’s tumultuous career. The play provides a compelling view into the artist’s mind as he broods over his artistic legacy, even as he works on a notable new commission. Set in the late 1950s, “Red” is based on a true event. Rothko was asked to create a set of large murals for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. He hires a new assistant to help him, an aspiring artist eager to learn from a master but who also represents the emergence of a new generation in modern art. While they work side-by-side, the two challenge each other over their divergent styles, musical taste, philosophies and attitudes. The play debuted in London before transferring to Broadway and has been seen in multiple productions, including an acclaimed recent revival in London’s West End with Alfred Molina (Rothko) returning to the role he originated in 2009.


Harvey is stepping back in to Rothko’s shoes having performed the role in 2012 at Stage 3 in Sonora. As he says, “There are always new things to discover about any character,” he says. “Rothko was a difficult man, his personality and his emotions are on full display. Getting to revisit the role has given me a greater perspective and helped me understand him in new ways.” Harvey has appeared in a variety of roles at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Blues Theatre Company, and Minnesota Repertory Theater as well as in California at PCPA Theatrefest, Capitol Stage, the Davis Shakespeare Festival, and Sacramento Theatre Company.


Thrilled to make his first appearance as Ken, a role he auditioned for multiple times, Michael is returning to his East Bay roots. He spent his early years in Danville where he got his start on the stage and he attended performing arts high school in San Francisco before heading to University of Minnesota. Michael participated in the actor training program as part of obtaining his BFA and since appeared off Broadway in productions with The Acting Company, as well as Drury Lane Oakbrook and other regional theater companies.  He is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.


Misty has worked as a director, choreographer, set designer and performer throughout the San Francisco Bay area for over 20 years including at the Bankhead Theater. Among her many directing and choreography credits are the 2015 Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre production of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Bankhead, as well as “Evita,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Cinderella,” “Oklahoma,” and “Into the Woods.” She has appeared on stage in such roles as Val in “A Chorus Line,” Gloria Thorpe in “Damn Yankees,” Lorraine in “42nd Street,” and Virtue in “Anything Goes.”

Sets for the production will be designed by Carol Edwards with lighting by Eric Johnson.


Thu Oct 18 at 7:30pm

Fri Oct 19 at 8:00pm

Sat Oct 20 at 2:00pm

Sat Oct 20 at 8:00pm

Sun Oct 21 at 3:00pm


Hot Shows Added!

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

Jake Shimabukuro, Robert Cray, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers (top), The Choir of Man (bottom), Keb’ Mo’

The 2018-2019 Season at the Bankhead just got more exciting! Our season is largely set by the end of May, but we jump on the opportunity to add great shows like these. There’s both returning favorites and artists completely new to our audiences.  The list includes two blues greats, the return of Robert Cray on February 10 and Keb’ Mo’, making his first appearance at the venue on May 14. Country music stars Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers bring familiar hits from their long career such as “All the Gold in California” plus the stories behind the songs on November 16.

Called the “ultimate feel-good show…90 minutes of indisputable joy,” The Choir of Man arrives February 17 with their rollicking concert set in a real working pub. The nine male band members sing, dance, and foot-stomp through music, from pub tunes, folk, Broadway, classic rock. All while pulling pints and inviting the audience to get up close and personal with the show.

Back by popular demand, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro returns on January 29 on tour for his just released album “The Greatest Day.” The new release features some of his most adventurous works, both original and imaginative covers of iconic rock hits.  He’s sold out all five times he’s been at the venue, even the Bankhead’s inaugural year when he was largely unknown beyond his viral YouTube video.

Tickets for Robert Cray, Keb’ Mo’, The Choir of Man, and Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers are on sale now.
Member presale only for Jake Shimabukuro until October 8.


And don’t forget an earlier addition! The Mustangs of the West brings their fresh California Country sound to the Bankhead on October 26.  Started in Southern California in the early 1980s, the Mustangs have reunited and are ready to soar again. Bonus note — Suzanna Spring of the Mustangs is a Livermore local! Often seen at her studio, Dragonfly Yoga, Suzanna has been a Mustang from the very beginning, her guitar and vocals an integral part of their sound.  Hear their latest song T-Shirt from California here and read about Paul Jefferson who will be opening for them at the Bankhead.


Become a member now and you’ll hear about new shows first,
receive a 10% discount all year long, and other member benefits. 

*Tickets for all shows except Jake Shimabukuro on sale now. Member Presale for Jake Shimabukuro ends October 8.


Two Firsts for the Bankhead

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

We’re marking two major firsts this fall with our brand new production of the compelling Tony Award-winning play “Red” by John Logan. The two-man play captures a pivotal period in the tumultuous career of abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. This will be the FIRST show fully produced by Livermore Performing Arts Center and also the FIRST production at the Bankhead in a “stage on stage” setting.  Both the set and audience will be positioned directly on the stage.

While the Bankhead Theater has welcomed theatrical productions since it opened in 2007, most have been single performances of small-scale touring plays. More complex plays and musicals are difficult to mount for a single performance. In looking to add more theatrical productions, LVPAC’s Executive Director Scott Kenison found that a small “stage-on-stage” approach could be as cost effective as a touring show. For “Red,” the set and audience will be positioned between the fire curtain and the rear wall.  As Scott said, the raw, industrial sense of the space will help create an appropriate visual backdrop for Rothko’s New York Bowery studio and the intimate, stage-on-stage setting will enhance the emotional connection between the audience and the work’s dramatic action.

He initially discussed staging the project with other local organizations, however many are busy during their fall season. Bringing the project inside also provided other benefits, as Scott believes it is the nature of people involved in the creative arts to seek and be inspired by opportunities to broaden their horizons and use their skills. We’ve established a reputation for presenting great artists and for supporting local groups through our resident company program and educational outreach. Now with ‘Red’ we can build on that, leveraging the creative energy, production skills, and administrative strengths we already have in place to produce, as well as present, great works.

The project is underwritten in part by the LVPAC Producer’s Fund, which was established to support projects or guest artists that expand and stretch the organization’s artistic efforts. The natural connection between LVPAC’s involvement in both the performing arts and the visual arts, at the Bankhead Theater and at the Bothwell Arts Center, yields exciting opportunities to experience both.  On display in the Bankhead Gallery during “Red” will be “The Art of Drama,” an exhibit of works curated by the Bothwell that express the concept of drama as seen through the eyes of a variety of local artists. Look for other related events as well.

“Red” opens Thursday, October 18, 2018 for Five Performances

Click HERE to read more about the play

Or BUY tickets now!

We’re Going Green!

By | LVPAC News | No Comments

The “Green the Bankhead” project has been launched! Major initiatives to save energy and reduce costs will make the Bankhead Theater more efficient and environmentally-friendly. The goal is to achieve LEED certification, a globally-recognized rating of a commercial building’s sustainability, by 2019, as well as WELL certification, which assesses measures taken to ensure the health and well-being of patrons and staff.

One of the first changes will be to replace incandescent lightbulbs with LED lighting. They will both reduce energy costs and generate far less heat easing demand on the building’s cooling system. In addition, some of the new fixtures have multiple color LEDs making them more flexible so programming lighting design changes is easier and less labor intensive. Energy costs could be reduced as much as $10,000 inside the auditorium, and closer to twice that amount on stage, for a potential reduction in energy costs of between 20 and 30 percent overall. Other changes include installing solar panels, a project that has long been on our wish list for energy savings, as well as adding low-flow water fixtures, replacing worn carpet with more environmentally-friendly materials, and modifying offices and other spaces to make better use of natural light.

“A potential reduction in energy costs
of between 20 and 30 percent overall.”

David Doyle of Doyle Construction, who has been advising LVPAC on the project, says that while overall LEED certification has become more common locally and many new construction projects incorporate it, the newest version, LEED v4, is significantly more challenging to obtain. The Bankhead would be one of the first theaters in California to achieve the new, higher level of certification. To reach these goals, LVPAC will be working with an experienced team from the Folsom office of Glumac, a sustainable design company of over 45 years who also helped certify the Gerding Theater in Portland, Oregon.

“Green the Bankhead” will both enhance the building’s sustainability and, through significant cost reductions, help the organization be more financially sustainable as well. Initial project improvements do require investment and several generous donors have already stepped up to provide needed resources and funding. Over half of the projected $700,000 cost has already been secured.

Several generous donors have already stepped up to provide needed resources and funding; over half of the projected $700,000 cost has already been secured. According to Chris Carter, Director of Development, not all changes will be made at once. “We’re excited to get the project underway, but are being strategic in balancing the cost against the efforts that provide the greatest value,” he said. “The Bankhead Theater has been a welcoming home for the arts in the center of downtown for more than a decade. We’re grateful to be able to make these changes now to ensure it will continue to serve the community well for years to come.”

If you’re interested in helping to Green the Bankhead,



Upcoming Events

Fri 18

Melissa Manchester

Fri, January 18 @ 8:00 pm
Sat 19

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Sat, January 19 @ 8:00 pm
Organizer: Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre
Sat 19

Django Shredders

Sat, January 19 @ 8:00 pm
Mon 21

Branford Marsalis Quartet

Mon, January 21 @ 7:30 pm

Call 925.373.6800 or email for tickets and information